Individuals who are in search of an traditional or online degree may not rank campus aesthetics high on their list when sifting through potential schools. However, many educational institutions are taking the time to design modern, awe-inspiring structures to give them an edge on the competition.
College tours are often apart of the decision process. A number of schools are investing more money in creating lavish contemporary buildings to reel in individuals who wish to enroll in a degree program. The cost to develop these structures may increase tuition rates for students, but many educational institutions see them as a worthwhile investment. The chance to entice potential students has more schools paying big bucks to construct unique structures on campus, and here are some of the most popular buildings.
- Eleanor Roosevelt College. The new branch of the University of California-San Diego has a building on campus that has successfully caught the attention of students and architects from across the country. Designed by Moshe Safdie, the inspiration for the structure came from balloons flying overhead. The architect proceeded to develop plans for a building that would eventually resemble a glass wall on the horizon. Safdie is known for creating staked cube apartments at the Montreal Expo in 1967, and currently works at a Boston-based firm with 65 architects on hand. Despite being constrained to 12 acres of land, Safdie spent $106 to develop the building for the Eleanor Roosevelt College campus. It was the first opportunity the architect received to design a college campus building, but he successfully made a splash with the structure.
- New York University. The university is home to thousands of students who are given the opportunity to explore the architectural wonders of the city. However, philosophy students don't have to look very far to find inspiration. The interior of the philosophy department at New York University has been a structure of interest to architects, faculty and students alike since it was created in 2007. Steven Holl Architects was brought in to begin construction on the project in 2004. Although it took three years to complete, it is now one of the most eye-catching structures on campus. The interior resembles an M.C. Escher design, with stairways twisting and turning upon a black and white background. Large light-refracting windows are located on the ground level, through which students can lounge and view the city below. The architecture firm also made it a priority to design the building to be energy-efficient, highlighting its prevalence as one of the most modern structures across the country.
- Miami Dade College. Another school that has made it a point to design an environmentally-friendly structure is Miami Dade College in southern Florida. The plan for the Campus Center was not only developed to accommodate students, but reduce the institution's carbon footprint in the future as well. The glass structure that encompasses the Miami skyline is projected to be completed in 2012, but it already has architects buzzing. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design building certification system has given the building its stamp of approval as construction commences on the 250,000 square-foot center. An open-air campus arts quad will be incorporated on the third level of the structure, while other parts of the building will be used for offices and apartments. Its steel exoskeleton design was developed to increase energy efficiency by reducing the need for artificial lighting. The roof of the building will be home to wind turbines, which will provide additional electricity to the structure. The plan to make the building in a quadrangle shape will give city dwellers the opportunity to view the skyline of South Beach through the massive Campus Center.